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Can a Thoughtful Drink Pairing Make a Campy Meryl Streep Movie Even Better?

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At Syndicated, a dine-in-theater on the Bushwick-East Williamsburg border in Brooklyn, New York, an airy bar and restaurant space gives way to a dimly-lit theater. Upon my entering, a twenty-something woman cheerily presented me with a “Streep Swag Bag,” filled with stickers of Meryl Streep imposed onto various food items—Rocket Pops, avocados, Choco Tacos—and a candle with Streep’s face on it.

At my seat, two sheets of Streep trivia waited for me; their questions flummoxing to even the most erudite Streep adherents. (To wit: Are you one of the three people in the world who remembers what movie Streep was in with Jim Carrey?) Grainy GIFs of Streep frantically mouthing “The dingo took my baby!”, black bowl cut and all, looped on screen, and the waitstaff served our complimentary cocktail just before the show started. For She-Devil (1989), that night’s screening, the drink of choice was a plum jalapeño margarita with hibiscus-chili salt rim.

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Photo by Samantha Raye

It’s been a few months since the world became enamored of Taste of Streep, the Instagram account that affixes Meryl Streep’s face to various foods and pits them against epilepsy-inducing backgrounds. A few nights back, I went to Syndicated for the fourth installment of “Taste of Streep presents.” It’s a monthly film series curated by Samantha Raye, the graphic designer behind the Instagram account (and the woman who handed me that swag bag), and Syndicated’s programming staff.

Syndicated’s bartender, Raye tells me, is a big Streep fan, and he’s crafted a cocktail for each film. For The Devil Wears Prada (2006), for example, he made a cachaça-based drink because “prata” (a variant of cachaça) sounds a lot like “Prada.” In She-Devil, a black comedy, Streep plays a prickly romance author who falls in love with Roseanne Barr’s schlubby husband. Jilted, Barr spends the rest of the movie enacting a nefarious plot to bring him down. The margarita, which the waiter warned me would be “sorta spicy,” befits She-Devil’s vengeful tone.

Photo by Samantha Raye

She-Devil is patently ridiculous. I’d seen the movie before but never quite understood the cheerleading for it. But I’d only watched it in the boring comforts of my own home, with a cup of tea—not with a larger crowd of Streep disciples and a plummy margarita. This go-around was different. Once the movie hit the hour mark, its absurdities intensified, and the drink, its notes dissolving into one another, started to hit me, too. This time, I loved it.

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Have a favored movie-drink pairing? Or think the act of doing so is sort of ridiculous? Let me know in the comments. And if you’d like to go to next month’s “Taste of Streep presents…” screening, keep an eye on Syndicated’s schedule or the Taste of Streep account.

Tags: meryl streep, movies, cocktails, margaritas